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Energy Comparison Sites Reviewed

Sites Analysed

We reviewed all the main energy price comparison websites, whether accredited to the Ofgem Confidence Code or not.

The Large Sites (5)

- confused

- comparethemarket

- gocompare

- moneysupermarket

- uswitch

The others (8)

- energyhelpline

- energylinx

- myutilitygenius

- quotezone

- runpathdigital

- simplyswitch

- ukpower

- unravelit

- Which?

and (as a reference)

- (that's us)

Sites excluded

We excluded the following Ofgem accredited sites from the analysis as, on the scenarios tested, we obtained inconsistent and unreliable results likely resulting from technical or data errors. We did not want these errors to bias the analysis.

- switchgasandelectric

- unravelit

We also excluded MoneySavingExpert stopped using the Personal Projection methodology from around August 2015. They now show 2 comparison options.

- Savings based on what the customer is currently paying - this is the default position when the user is more than 49 days from the end of their tariff.

- Savings based on what the customer will pay when their fix ends - this is the default calculation when users are within 49 days of the end of the tariff. This also assumes the customer will be moved onto the Standard Variable tariff.

In the scenarios we tested, MoneySavingExpert showed both results but defaulted to option 2 which shows the higher saving.

Research Methodology

We selected two tariffs that are expiring in the relatively near term; one a dual fuel tariff from Co-operative Energy and the other an electricity only Economy 7 tariff from first-utility. These were set as the customer's current tariff for comparison purposes. They reflect good examples of a customer searching to see what deals are in the market as their tariff comes to an end.

For each tariff a specific profile was selected (region / payment method / consumption). The details of the profiles selected are shown in Table 1 below.

The bill values for the customer's current tariff, the bill value for the cheapest deal in the market for the profiles chosen on the analysis day, and the expected saving based on the customer's actual current spend were calculated manually and used as the reference point for the comparison. The rates used and the detailed step-by-step calculations behind them are shown in Tables 5 and 6 in Appendix A.

The customer current profiles were entered into all the price comparison websites on the same date for each profile (2 March 2016 for Scenario 1 and 4 March 2016 for Scenario 2). This was done in order to get comparable results for the savings quoted for the cheapest tariff in the market on that day. Details of bills and savings were recorded and evidenced with screen shots.

Campaign to stop fake and mis-leading comparisons

Support our campaign to stop this dodgy and mis-leading practise.

If you have been misled by an energy comparison site that quoted you a saving way above what you actually received you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch, tell us about your experience and we will see what we can do to help.

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